Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NRAEF tees up support for industry scholarships

Nearly 80 of the country's leading restaurant and foodservice operators and suppliers attended the 17th Annual Ted J. Balestreri Leadership Classic, hosted by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), which was held in Pebble Beach, Calif., March 4 to 7. The event featured a live wine auction where attendee bids and a contribution from the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival brought in more than $110,000 to support the NRAEF Scholarship Program.

The 2009 Ted J. Balestreri Leadership Classic, which was co-chaired by Ted J. Balestreri, chairman and chief executive officer of The Sardine Factory Restaurant, and Tim Connor, president and chief executive officer of TJ Connor Associates, included golf on three of the most picturesque and respected courses in the world, a live auction hosted by the Monterey Wine Festival Education Foundation, and dinner at the gorgeous Beach and Tennis Club at Pebble Beach. It was concluded with an awards reception, honoring the top golfers of the event.

The true highlight of the weekend occurred when five ProStart students from Pacific Grove High School joined the executive chef team of the Inn at Spanish Bay to prepare an excellent three-course meal that was served during the event's live auction.

The Ted J. Balestreri Leadership Cup is engraved with the names of each year's winners of the Individual Tournament and resides in the Pebble Beach trophy case alongside others from Pebble Beach tournaments. This year's winners with overall low-gross scores are Lee Knowlton, chief operating officer of Kahala Corp., and Karen Marriott Rafferty.

To learn more about the NRAEF Scholarship Program, visit